I saw my first hummingbird of the season last night! I was soooooooo excited. The hubby and I were watching "Mad Men" when I caught the first glimpse. Yes, the hubby and I are quite behind on "Mad Men". We actually hadn't watched a single episode since we left Portland. We estimated this left us at the Season 4 finale. However, we estimated this after we had re-watched all of Season 4 and before we subsequently realized we watched it in Portland. For the love. Here's the funny part- both the hubby and I remembered some moments from Season 4, but for the most part, it was all new. We cannot figure out, for the life of us, how we watched all of Season 4 in Oregon, and somehow don't remember most of it. Anyhoo, we've recovered from that faux pas and we've steamed ahead. We just started Season 6. Just as enthralled as ever. In fact, it's making me want to create cocktail recipes and Chicken Kiev for the blog... but back to that hummingbird-
I had gotten up from the couch to grab another bottle of water, and I was walking by the window where the feeder is in full display. I just about fell to the ground in shock when I saw a little green hummingbird on the feeder. I whipped around, and excitedly yelped to the hubby that there was a hummingbird. He immediately told me to get picture. I whipped out my iPhone and sure enough, just like every other time you want to snap the quickest photo of a fleeting moment, my fat fingers wouldn't open the app. The hubby ran to the other room for the big camera. By the time I got my app open, I'd only had time to snap the blurriest of blurry pictures before the little guy took off. Harrumph.
This means they're baaaaaaack!
To help pollinate strawberries!
So I can make Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins!
I think I mentioned a couple of months ago that I was working on these. I've just been waiting for the perfect moment to share them. They took quite a bit of development, either 4 or 5 batches before I got them right. The problem doesn't lie with the creamy, peanut butter-y muffin part. No, the problem occurred with the jelly. I ended up with soggy mess after soggy mess. After scrutinizing and agonizing over the recipe, I realized the original recipe must be using commercial jelly while I was using homemade. It does make a difference folks.
The original recipe uses the technique of putting a scoop of batter in the muffin tin, a scoop of jelly on top of that, and then finished with another scoop of batter. Here's where the problem lay- I think my homemade jelly is heavier than commercial. My jelly sank to the bottom of the muffin tin every. single. time. Argh. It didn't matter if I put more batter below the jelly than on top. It always sank. Plus, the jelly seemed to devour the muffin from the inside out and by the next day the muffins were so soggy, it was like they were a peanut butter shell filled with a mushy jelly mess. I tossed 3 batches that this happened to.
The best batches of these muffins occurred when I cored the muffins. I was able to fit more jelly in them, and the sogginess problem was solved. My best guess is that baking the muffin part completely helps create a barrier and keep it from soaking up the water from the jelly. Whatever the cause, I recommend coring your muffins. Especially if you go with homemade jelly.
In the end, I finally perfected the muffin. It may have taken me awhile, but it was worth it. If you love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you'll love these muffins. Try them with different jellies, too. Next up on my list is- you guessed it!- raspberry.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):
Strawberry Jelly (makes 2 1/2 cups- refrigerate leftovers up to 1 month)-
1 lb fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
Peanut Butter Muffins-
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (you can sub regular milk here)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Prepare jelly- in a large saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over high heat, bringing to a full, rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until mixture reaches 220º. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one month.
2. Preheat oven to 350º. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray or line with liners. Set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour through baking powder. Whisk to combine.
4. In a separate large bowl, combine egg through vanilla extract. Whisk to combine. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Fold them together gently with a spatula. DO NOT OVER-MIX. Batter will be thick.
5. Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely before moving on to the next step.
6. Using a cupcake corer, core the muffins. Fill the centers of the muffins with strawberry jelly. Serve immediately, or store in airtight container for 3-4 days.
|Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks.|